Respected Danish firm Henning Larsen Architects has completed the Umeå Art Museum, located by a river at the 15,000 m2 new Arts Campus at Umeå University in northern Sweden.
As with the other buildings at the Arts Campus, the facade features vertical louvers in Siberian larch, which supports its verticality – only broken by the large windows and the glass floor in the middle.
Umeå Art Museum aims to attract international artists – this imposes strict requirements on museum safety and climate control.
The museum comprises three exhibition halls placed on top of each other. The large, square halls are free from load-bearing structures and are supported by four legs, with one leg placed on each side of the square rooms.
Around the exhibition halls, the legs create an outer, narrow gap towards the facades – a niche, which lets the cool sun and sky light pour into the space and merge with the warm artificial light.
In addition to the light effect, the niches allow for natural breaks and vantage points over the river, city and landscape.
The four legs not only support the building but also serve as wells for all vertical movement: elevators, stairs, pipes and ventilation ducts.
The entrance and foyer span across the three lower levels and comprise a museum shop, a children’s workshop and an auditorium. A partly triple-high room serves to connect the spaces.
The ground plan of the museum covers 500 m2, while the total gross floor area amounts to 3,500m2.
The new Arts Campus also comprises the Academy of Fine Arts, the Institute of Design and the School of Architecture.